A few days ago an RAF fighter plane crashed after takeoff from an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean. It may have been because of a lens cap. The pilot is safe, but, if they do payroll deductions, his checking account is not. F-35s ain’t cheap.
There’s a BBC series from 1981 called Fighter Pilot. It begins with 31 candidates for the Royal Air Force. The pool gets quickly narrowed down, and the show tracks six of them onward. One succeeds. It’s like a combo of 7 Up and Squid Game.
I loved the show, not least for its exemplary Britishness. E.g. during a class on dogfighting tactics, the instructor warns of “getting into an embarrassing situation.” There’s a banquet scene where recruits are taught silverware. Right in the first 45 seconds the narrator talks of how, on a “business trip,” the jet will be armed with what the pilots call “a bucket of instant sunshine.”
Reminds me of those jokers over at Russia’s Strategic Rocket Force. Their motto is: After us – silence.